With heated words exchanged between Quinwyn and myself, the group spends the rest of the evening and next morning in an uncomfortable silence. His actions were rash but emotional – made against one who held his brother’s life over his head. While I cannot agree with his actions, for we are not lesser men, I understand why he reacted that way, but we must hold ourselves to a higher standard. To diffuse the situation between us, I approach him the next day in an attempt to work things out with him. Thankfully, he seems agreeable to want to move past this as well. While he does not admit to any to acting out of line, he seems to understand my position as a representative of the people of the Vale and the honor that I must beheld to, along with those in my company. I need to trust that his actions will keep us in the light. While we do not completely come to agreement, it seems that we should be able to move forward.

We soon disembark the raft and move inland, with the Gray Gull soon out of sight behind us. The weather is damnably hot as we move inland approaching the Thornwaste. Almost a full day’s travel inland, Quinwyn, while scouting, alerts us to something up ahead. A farm, located in a thatch of trees has been overrun by hobgoblins and an ogre who appear to be torturing the farmers who they have strung to a tree in the yard, as a cat would cruelly play with a dying mouse. Wasting no time, we quickly charge. Voices of caution are ignored as I rush at them, hoping that the farmers are not beyond saving. Perhaps cation would have been the wiser decision, as they alert their allies lying in wait for us – hellhounds and barghests emerge from the tree line. In moments, I am surrounded and I hear the clamor of battle all around as my allies are equally engaged. I find myself beset on all sides by a troop of hobgoblins, when they start to turn their attention away from me and provide me a critical distraction. Later I learned that Ian bravely moved to my aid, providing a much needed assistance. In the end, our resolve holds true, and we turn the tide of the battle.

Once we take stock, we see the battle has been joined by another. This man, Moric had arrived in the midst of the battle, and his assistance surely helped turn the tide. He carries himself as a veteran warrior, and seems to have an bright soul – if not a bit abrasive. His sword speaks for his skill at arms, and I ask if he’d join our crusade against the forces aligned against the vale, and he casually agrees, stating they his former group had defeated a lich themselves. Unfortunately, he does not offer us much insight to how. By the look in his eyes, I suspect that the scars he carries from that battle may not be purely physical.

Sadly, the farmers are dead, having been left to the merciless brutality of the hobgoblins. Additionally, the creatures are carrying parchments bearing our likeness. It seems that we have successfully gained the attention of the remaining Wyrmlords, and they now send forces to stop us. While that may not be good news for us, anything that takes their attention or resources from their inevitable assault at Brindol is a victory for the vale. We lay the farmers to rest at the base of the tree, and agree that this is where we will rest for the evening.

As the evening’s conversation turns inevitably to the task at hand, we discuss what lies ahead. It is with much surprise that Kishra suggests that we try to parlay or somehow deceive the lich, using his phylactery as some sort of bartering tool. I am aghast at this very suggestion. He defends his action, stating that he could provide valuable information. While true, this damned creature is a bane to mankind, an unholy terror who’s very existence is against everything that I stand for. When last we talked, Kishra seemed to be in agreement with me that this Ghostlord was a foe we needed to stop, and remove from the realm of the living. Now he suggests that he may be a lesser of two evils, and one that he’d consider an allegiance with? This is a dangerous compromise, one that many men have succumbed to – with each following compromise becoming easier, until you no longer find yourself in the light. Something dark clouds his thoughts, and I know what I need to do to keep us in the light.


Heroes of Khemer Smorgie